Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS4886496 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 07/152,318
Publication date12 Dec 1989
Filing date4 Feb 1988
Priority date4 Feb 1988
Fee statusPaid
Publication number07152318, 152318, US 4886496 A, US 4886496A, US-A-4886496, US4886496 A, US4886496A
InventorsCraig S. Conoscenti, Robert A. Gandi, Gianfranco U. Meduri, David S. Ostrowski
Original AssigneeConoscenti Craig S, Gandi Robert A, Meduri Gianfranco U, Ostrowski David S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bronchoscopic balloon tipped catheter and method of making the same
US 4886496 A
A balloon tipped catheter and process for making the same is provided for the insertion into the suction channel of a bronchoscope. The balloon material is stretched across a recess formed in the catheter tubing. The stretched balloon forms an hour glass shape, thereby preventing the balloon material from becoming damaged while the catheter is being pushed through a curved bronchoscope.
Previous page
Next page
What is claimed is:
1. A flexible balloon tipped catheter designed to minimize trauma to the balloon when inserted into a channel of a flexible endoscope which, in use, assumes intricate convoluted configurations, comprising:
a catheter tube having a distal end and at least one lumen;
a concave recessed section formed on the exterior surface of said catheter tube located at said distal end;
an inflatable elastomeric balloon material adhered under tension within said recessed section such that said balloon material remains in said recess and follows the concavity of said recess when said catheter proceeds through said convoluted configurations of the channel, thus preventing mechanical trauma to said balloon material from contact between said balloon material and the wall surfaces of said channel;
means for fluid communication between said balloon portion and one of said lumen.
2. A method for atraumatically sealing off a passageway to a subsection of the bronchial tree of a patient using a flexible, fiber optic bronchoscope and a balloon tipped catheter, the steps comprising:
inserting the flexible, fiber optic bronchoscope under continuous visualization into said passageway of the patient, said bronchoscope having a channel through which a catheter may be passed;
using said fiber optics of said bronchoscope to locate a position along said passageway whereby the seal is to be made;
inserting a balloon tipped catheter into said channel of said bronchoscope, said catheter having a recessed balloon such that said balloon is protected from damage by the inner surface of said channel;
positioning visually said catheter using the fiber optics of said bronchoscope such that said balloon is located at said sealing position in said passageway;
inflating said balloon such that the balloon creates a seal within said passageway, thereby sealing said subsection of said bronchial tree, said catheter providing fluid communication into and out from said sealed subsection.

The invention generally relates to catheters which have inflatable balloon portions.

The invention more specifically relates to such catheters which can be inserted into and positioned by a bronchoscope.

The flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope is a triple lumen tube for containing an optic viewing fiber, a lighting passage and a suction channel. It allows both visualization of the tracheo-bronchial tree, through the viewing fiber, and sampling of secretions or tissue of the lung through the suction channel. The bronchoscope most commonly used to inspect the bronchial tree has a flexible tip which can be controlled so that inspections along branches with sharp bends may be followed more easily.

Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy is an invaluable tool for the diagnosis of many lung diseases. Two techniques involving the bronchoscope are bronchoalveolar lavage and tamponade of tracheo-bronchial bleeding, both of which are important in the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases.

Bronchoalveolar lavage is the accepted technique of sampling the cellular content of the alveoli. This technique has greatly improved the understanding of many lung disorders.

In interstitial lung diseases, the cells seen in the lavage fluid represent the inflammatory and the immune effector-cell population present in the alveolar interstitium. This has allowed the characterization of different forms of "Alveolitis" and has opened a new frontier in the understanding of these disorders.

Bronchoalveolar lavage is also useful in diagnosing pulmonary infections (i.e.; pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, fungal infections, legionella, TB and CMV) and it has replaced open lung biopsy in the diagnosis of opportunistic infections in the immuno-compromised host.

Bronchoalveolar lavage is presently accomplished by wedging the tip of the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope into a segmental bronchus. Then, injecting warm saline (37' C) through the suction channel of the bronchoscope to lavage the bronchus and alveoli. Effective retrieval of the saline lavage solution is a problem owing to the difficulties encountered in maintaining the wedge seal.

During this procedure, pressure must be applied to the bronchoscope to maintain an effective wedge seal. This pressure activates the cough reflex, disrupting the wedge seal, resulting in the leakage of the irrigating solution. Further, the applied pressure required to maintain the seal is occasionally traumatic to the bronchial mucosa.

Pulmonary hemorrhages are among the occasional complications of biopsy during bronchoscopy and can be life-threatening. During such hemorrhaging, the tip of the bronchoscope is wedged into the bronchus with the intent of limiting the bleeding to a small area of the lung. A serious inconvience of the present modality is that the tip of the bronchoscope is obscured by blood, and the lack of visualization does not allow for adequate assessment and management. After a seal has been made, vasoconstricting agents are instilled to control the hemorrhagic process. Normal saline is instilled and aspirated to wash the blood out.

The applied wedge pressure again creates patient discomfort, activates the cough reflex and disrupts the wedge seal, thus hindering the management of the hemorrhage.

To more easily study lung related diseases and to provide a less traumatic treatment, it would be desirable to be able to insert a balloon tipped catheter through the suction lumen of the bronchoscope into the bronchial tree, thereafter use the balloon, when inflated, to seal off a particular lung subsegment instead of applying traumatic pressure to the end of the bronchoscope. There is a problem, however, in inserting a balloon tipped catheter into the appropriate channel provided by the bronchoscope. The inside wall of this channel is articulated in order to provide the necessary flexible maneuverability while positioning the scope through the passages of the lung. The articulation generates ribbed walls that tear or otherwise damage the relatively delicate elastomeric material common to prior art balloon tipped catheters while it is being pushed passed such bends.

If a damaged balloon is later positioned and inflated in the bronchial tree of a patient, the balloon may rupture, thereby breaking the isolation seal of the particular subsegment under test or treatment and reducing the quantity and quality of the retrieved specimens. When detected, the damaged catheter must be removed and a new one inserted with the same problems caused by the ribbed walls of the bronchoscope.

Although some conventional balloon tipped catheters have recessed balloons, the balloon material of such catheters does not remain recessed if the catheter tube is curved sharply. It will overlap and create wrinkles or "bulges" on the inside of its curve and can be easily damaged by the ribbed walls of a bronchoscope. An example of such a catheter having a recessed balloon is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,734,100.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a balloon tipped catheter which avoids the above-identified rupturing problems.

A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a balloon tipped catheter which can be inserted through a curved suction channel of a bronchoscope without damage to the catheter or balloon. The balloon can then be positioned and inflated at a predetermined location of a lung subsegment thereby creating an effective seal which will minimize or eliminate the cough reflex and much of the patient discomfort.


In accordance with the present invention, a balloon tipped catheter has a balloon stretched into an "hourglass" recess of the catheter so that the balloon material will remain protected even when the catheter is being pushed along a sharp bend of a ribbed bronchoscope.


FIG. 1 is a side view of the distal end of a balloon tipped catheter of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the present invention in a curved position;

FIG. 4 is a front cross-section view of the distal end of the present catheter; and

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of the present invention with the balloon inflated.


A catheter tube 10 has a dividing wall 11 which forms two lumen 16 and 24 of unequal size. An "hourglass" shaped recess 14 is formed near its distal end. Communication with the sealed lung subsegment and the proximal end of the catheter is provided by the larger lumen 24, while inflation/deflation of the balloon is controlled by the smaller lumen 16.

The balloon material 12 is a section of tubing made from a conventional elastomeric material such as latex or polyurethane and is positioned around the catheter tube 10 and within the "hourglass" shaped recess 14. The balloon tubing 12 is slightly smaller in outer diameter than the outer diameter of the catheter tube 10. The cut length of the balloon tubing 12 is such that it can be stretched length wise within the recess 14 without increasing the outer diameter of the catheter tube. The edges of the balloon tubing 12 are adhered to the outer surface of the catheter tube 10 within the recess 14 using a conventional non-brittle adhesive such as a cyanoacrylate adhesive for latex balloon material and a solvent base polyurethane adhesive for polyurethane balloon material. The balloon tubing 12 is adhered within recess 14 so that it rests in a stretched condition. The stretched balloon will also form an "hourglass" shape which will ensure that the balloon tubing 12 remains protected within the recess 14 while the catheter tube 10 bends as it is maneuvered through the bronchoscope (not shown). A hole 18 is provided through the catheter tube 10 wall and within the recess 14 thereby establishing fluid communication between the balloon and the smaller lumen 16. This fluid may be gaseous, or if the smaller lumen 16 is large enough, depending on the catheter, may be a liquid.

The catheter tube 10 is shown curved in FIG. 3, similar to the degree of curvature that the catheter experiences as it travels through a typical bend in a bronchoscope channel. The stretched balloon tubing 12 slackens slightly along the inside curve 30 of the curved catheter tube 10, but remains sufficiently taut to avoid conventional recessed balloon problems such as wrinkling and "bulging" and does not increase the outer diameter of the catheter tube 10. Stretching of the balloon tubing 12 will occur along the surface following the outside curve 32, but will not increase the outer diameter of the catheter tube.

In use, the distal end of the catheter is inserted into an endoscope (such as a bronchoscope), which has been previously inserted into a patient. The endoscope is used to locate the correct position of the catheter in the patient. The endoscope may therefore be, and usually is, contorted with several sharp and gradual bends. The recessed balloon of the present catheter will not be damaged as it passes the various curves of the endoscope owing to its stretched "hourglass" recessed section. Once the balloon portion of the catheter is in position, it may be inflated using a conventional syringe (or other) with a fluid such that a seal is created between the balloon and the passage wall and the catheter is secured within the particular passageway of the patient. If a bronchoscope is used, the balloon may be inflated to seal off a damaged lung subsegment at a predetermined point along the Bronchial tree. Irrigating fluids can then be instilled and aspirated effectively and efficiently, without trauma to the patient. With the balloon in place, the bronchoscope remains clear of any blood and debris providing unimpaired visual guidance.

The catheter of the preferred embodiment has two lumen, as described, and is designed to provide protection for its balloon against the relatively rough inner walls of bronchoscopes. The recessed "hourglass" shaped stretched balloon may be employed for other catheters which are used with or without the guidance of an endoscope. The number of lumen within the catheter body tube may also vary depending on the requirements of the particular use.

The production of a balloon-tipped catheter according to FIGS. 1 and 2 is as follows. First, a length of conventional extruded catheter tbbing 10 is cut. This tubing has at least two lumen 16 and 24 and is made, for example, of conventional radiopaque polymeric material such as polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane.

The position of the balloon location is then determined relative to the distal end of the catheter tubing 10. The balloon's location varies depending on the use of the catheter. Generally, the location of the balloon will be within an inch of the distal tip 22.

The next step requires the insertion of stainless steel rods or mandrels (not shown) which are the exact shape of each individual lumen used and long enough to protect the lumen around the balloon location against the subsequent heating and recess forming steps. For the preferred catheter the rods are six to eight inches long and are inserted fully into each corresponding lumen 16 and 24 at the distal end. Then, the catheter tubing 10, with a supporting rod within each lumen 16 and 24, is carefully heated in the balloon location (recessed section) and the tubing pulled. The heater, which can be a conventional thermal forming fixture must only apply enough heat to soften the catheter tubing 10. This temperature will be between 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the material used and its cross-sectional thickness. By pulling the proximal and distal ends of the tubing apart, the recessed section of a desired diameter is formed. The recessed section can also be formed with a heat forming mold or other conventional methods. The diameter and length of this recessed section varies with the type of catheter desired and the thickness of the balloon material used.

The lumen supporting rod for the smaller lumen 16, through which the balloon is inflated and deflated, is removed and a conventional atraumatic tapered distal end is formed and the distal end of the unsupported balloon fluid communication lumen 16 is sealed by a conventional means such as using a heated taper-forming die. After the formed tip has cooled, the support rod (or rods) for the larger lumen 24 is then removed leaving a distal hole (or holes) through which communication is provided to the sealed lung subsegment of the patient.

A hole 18 no larger then the diameter of the lumen 16 is then made near the middle of the recessed section 14. The hole is made by any conventional process such as melting, die cutting or drilling.

The balloon material, which is a conventional elastomeric extruded tubing 12, such as latex or polyurethane, is cut to a length 25% shorter than the recessed section of the catheter tube 10 and positioned into the recessed section 14 by sliding it over the distal end 22. Although this position varies depending on the size and shape of the recessed section 14, it is approximately 1/8 inch from the point 20 where the recessed slope begins. One end of the balloon is then everted and the appropriate adhesive applied to the catheter. The everted section of the balloon is then rolled back over the adhesive and allowed to air cure. The balloon tubing is then stretched across the concave section of the catheter and held by frictional resistance while the remaining un-glued end of the balloon tubing is everted and the adhesive applied. This everted end is similarly rolled back onto the adhesive and allowed to air cure before the frictional resistance is removed.

It is the stretching of the elastomeric material which causes the balloon to assume a concave "hourglass" shape which protects it during its introduction into the patient through an endoscope.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2050407 *4 Apr 193511 Aug 1936Wolff Franklyn JSyringe
US2642874 *4 Jun 195123 Jun 1953Wilmer B KeelingInstrument for treating prostate glands
US3435826 *27 May 19641 Apr 1969Edwards Lab IncEmbolectomy catheter
US3448739 *22 Aug 196610 Jun 1969Edwards Lab IncDouble lumen diagnostic balloon catheter
US3734100 *29 Mar 197122 May 1973Medical Products CorpCatheter tubes
US3833003 *5 Jul 19723 Sep 1974A TariccoIntravascular occluding catheter
US3880168 *21 Dec 197329 Apr 1975Berman Robert AEndotracheal tube
US4502482 *11 Aug 19835 Mar 1985Deluccia Victor CEndotracheal tube complex
US4762125 *27 Apr 19879 Aug 1988The University Of Texas SystemBalloon-tipped suction catheter
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5011482 *3 May 198930 Apr 1991Cook Pacemaker CorporationApparatus for removing an elongated structure implanted in biological tissue
US5029580 *18 Jul 19909 Jul 1991Ballard Medical ProductsMedical aspirating apparatus with multi-lumen catheter tube and methods
US5135490 *21 Dec 19904 Aug 1992Strickland Richard DMethod and system for effecting wedging of a bronchoalveolar lavage catheter
US5158569 *21 Dec 199027 Oct 1992Ballard Medical ProductsCatheter placement locking and sealing device
US5165420 *21 Dec 199024 Nov 1992Ballard Medical ProductsBronchoalveolar lavage catheter
US5199427 *18 Oct 19916 Apr 1993Ballard Medical ProductsMulti-layered transtracheal caatheter
US5207683 *26 Apr 19914 May 1993Cook Pacemaker CorporationApparatus for removing an elongated structure implanted in biological tissue
US5218957 *19 Oct 199015 Jun 1993Ballard Medical ProductsMulti-layered transtracheal catheter
US5230332 *22 Oct 199027 Jul 1993Ballard Medical ProductsMethods and apparatus for a micro-tracheal catheter hub assembly
US5246012 *19 Dec 199121 Sep 1993Ballard Medical ProductsBronchoalveolar lavage catheter
US5411016 *22 Feb 19942 May 1995Scimed Life Systems, Inc.Intravascular balloon catheter for use in combination with an angioscope
US5507751 *8 Jun 199416 Apr 1996Cook Pacemaker CorporationLocally flexible dilator sheath
US5632749 *2 Apr 199327 May 1997Cook Pacemaker CorporationApparatus for removing an elongated structure implanted in biological tissue
US569492219 Aug 19949 Dec 1997Ballard Medical ProductsSwivel tube connections with hermetic seals
US5697936 *4 May 199516 Dec 1997Cook Pacemaker CorporationDevice for removing an elongated structure implanted in biological tissue
US5707352 *7 Jun 199513 Jan 1998Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp.Pulmonary delivery of therapeutic agent
US5868705 *6 Mar 19979 Feb 1999Percusurge IncPre-stretched catheter balloon
US5876426 *13 Jun 19962 Mar 1999Scimed Life Systems, Inc.System and method of providing a blood-free interface for intravascular light delivery
US5904648 *18 Jun 199718 May 1999Cook IncorporatedGuided endobronchial blocker catheter
US6136005 *6 May 199724 Oct 2000Cook Pacemaker CorporationApparatus for removing a coiled structure implanted in biological tissue, having expandable means including a laterally deflectable member
US63192293 Nov 199920 Nov 2001Medtronic Percusurge, Inc.Balloon catheter and method of manufacture
US649420312 Nov 199917 Dec 2002Ballard Medical ProductsMedical aspirating/ventilating closed system improvements and methods
US655479519 Feb 199829 Apr 2003Medtronic Ave, Inc.Balloon catheter and method of manufacture
US658563927 Oct 20001 Jul 2003PulmonxSheath and method for reconfiguring lung viewing scope
US661004323 Aug 199926 Aug 2003Bistech, Inc.Tissue volume reduction
US663824528 Feb 200228 Oct 2003Concentric Medical, Inc.Balloon catheter
US668252020 Apr 200127 Jan 2004Bistech, Inc.Tissue volume reduction
US670278226 Jun 20019 Mar 2004Concentric Medical, Inc.Large lumen balloon catheter
US671282617 May 200130 Mar 2004Cook Vascular IncorporatedApparatus for removing an elongated structure implanted in biological tissue
US69979184 Mar 200314 Feb 2006PulmonxMethods and devices for obstructing and aspirating lung tissue segments
US71691405 Sep 200030 Jan 2007Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.Methods of using an intravascular balloon catheter in combination with an angioscope
US730042811 Dec 200427 Nov 2007Aeris Therapeutics, Inc.Tissue volume reduction
US765499823 Aug 20002 Feb 2010Aeris Therapeutics, Inc.Tissue volume reduction
US765499926 Aug 20032 Feb 2010Aeris Therapeutics, Inc.Tissue volume reduction
US776604922 Oct 20033 Aug 2010Concentric Medical, Inc.Balloon catheter
US81286369 Feb 20076 Mar 2012Cook Medical Technologies LlcDevice and method for removing lumenless leads
US842545529 Mar 201123 Apr 2013Angiodynamics, Inc.Bronchial catheter and method of use
US8562601 *10 Jun 200822 Oct 2013Olympus Medical Systems Corp.Medical instrument for endoscope and treatment method
US8702773 *17 Dec 200822 Apr 2014The Spectranetics CorporationEccentric balloon laser catheter
US959869129 Apr 200921 Mar 2017Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.Irreversible electroporation to create tissue scaffolds
US97571966 Jan 201612 Sep 2017Angiodynamics, Inc.Multiple treatment zone ablation probe
US976414531 Oct 201419 Sep 2017Angiodynamics, Inc.System and method for synchronizing energy delivery to the cardiac rhythm
US20040073191 *4 Mar 200315 Apr 2004PulmonxMethods and devices for obstructing and aspirating lung tissue segments
US20050192591 *25 Feb 20051 Sep 2005Lui Chun K.Device for removing an elongated structure implanted in biological tissue
US20070191919 *9 Feb 200716 Aug 2007Cook Vascular IncorporatedDevice and method for removing lumenless leads
US20100152717 *17 Dec 200817 Jun 2010SpectraneticsEccentric balloon laser catheter
US20100174243 *5 Jan 20098 Jul 2010Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc.Apparatus for Delivery of Therapeutic Material to an Intervertebral Disc and Method of Use
US20100298634 *10 Jun 200825 Nov 2010Olympus Medical Systems Corp.Medical instrument for endoscope and treatment method
US20140018800 *12 Sep 201316 Jan 2014Olympus Medical Systems Corp.Medical instrument for endoscope and treatment method
US20140200554 *14 Jan 201417 Jul 2014Teleflex Medical IncorportedSuction catheter device and method
USD7757282 Jul 20153 Jan 2017The Spectranetics CorporationMedical device handle
WO2001013908A2 *23 Aug 20001 Mar 2001Ingenito Edward PTissue volume reduction
WO2001013908A3 *23 Aug 200024 Jan 2002Edward P IngenitoTissue volume reduction
WO2014078865A1 *19 Nov 201322 May 2014Somnath GhoshMedical systems and methods
U.S. Classification604/103.11
International ClassificationA61B1/267, A61M25/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B1/0011, A61B1/2676, A61M25/1027
European ClassificationA61B1/267D, A61B1/00E8, A61M25/10G
Legal Events
23 Oct 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: BIOSYS. INC. 299 WEST 12TH ST., NEW YORK, NY. 1001
28 May 1993FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
29 May 1997FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
24 May 2001FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12